Area city plans to declare weeklong state of emergency around solar eclipse

Riverside City Council will vote on the measure Thursday night, citing impacts near the Air Force museum and WPAFB

Monday’s total solar eclipse has Riverside planning to declare a weeklong state of emergency, as the city says it expects heavy traffic near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force museum.

The emergency will run from midnight Friday until midnight April 12, according to Riverside records.

The Montgomery County city is expecting “to more than double its population” for Monday afternoon’s eclipse, Riverside’s website states. The brief “totality” period of the eclipse will be at 3:10 p.m.

Riverside officials expect “a number of gates open around” the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and “people should expect heavy traffic” with some lanes closed along Airway and Harshman roads, as well as Springfield Street near Wright-Patterson, according to city records.

“Traffic patterns will change during the day to facilitate getting people into the base in the morning and out of the base once the eclipse has passed,” according to Riverside documents.

A measure declaring the state of emergency is set to be approved by Riverside City Council on Thursday night.

Last month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order directing all state departments and agencies “to be ready and prepared to ensure the health and safety of all Ohioans and visitors before, during, and after the eclipse.”

Only 21 total solar eclipses have crossed the lower 48 U.S. states in the country’s existence, according to DeWine’s order. The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806, and the one will not pass through the state again until 2099, the document states.

Riverside is expecting an influx of visitors Monday as all-day activities are planned at the Air Force museum, according to the city’s website. Visitors are also expected at Eastwood Metro Park off Harshman.

“Riverside police, fire, and public services staff have been working with base personnel to plan for traffic and safety of all coming to the area,” according to the city.

“To this end, motorists should be aware” that on Monday “traffic patterns near and around the Air Force museum will be altered and signs will be up directing traffic throughout the day,” Riverside’s website states.

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